Common Name:    Brittlegill

Scientific Name:    Russula Pulchra

Order:                     Russalales


The russula or brittlegill is one of the most common mushrooms you see on the trail throughout the spring and summer.  It is usually solitary in groups (as shown) on the ground, particularly under oak trees.


Potpourri:     The name brittlegill is due to the distinctively brittle flesh of the russula. That means when you push upward on the edge of the cap, it easily snaps off. 


There are many colors of the russula.  The name pulchra for the red colored variant means beautiful.


The russula is mycorrhizal (my - cor - EEZ - al), meaning that it has a symbiotic relationship with the root structures of specific plants, among which are oak tress. The photosynthetic plant produces the sucrose that is used by the fungus.  In return, the fungus helps the plant to absorb water and essential minerals, especially phosphorous.


Some russulas are edible. Those that are not are reportedly bitter in taste.  In Russian, the name is pronounced "Sueroyejka" which translates literally to "eat raw."


Website Home Page